Decision day has arrived for George Pell, as magistrate weighs options

Sydney Morning Herald

By Adam Cooper

30 April 2018

His has been a path no other Australian Catholic has taken, all the way to the powerful inner workings of the Vatican, until he became the church’s most senior leader in modern times to be charged with sexual assault offences.

On Tuesday George Pell will learn if he is to forge even more new ground, and be committed to stand trial in front of a jury on allegations of sexual assault dating back more than 20 years.

In a ruling that will be heard throughout the religious world, magistrate Belinda Wallington will announce whether Cardinal Pell will stand trial on some or all of the charges, or whether they are to be struck out. If committed to trial it will most likely be in the County Court before a judge and 12 jurors.

Three hours have been set aside in Melbourne Magistrates Court for Ms Wallington to deliver her ruling on a number of charges. The hearing will be held in the building’s biggest court room, and Cardinal Pell must attend.

The 76-year-old faces multiple charges of sexual offences involving multiple accusers. Details of the charges have not been revealed.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.